Multiboot Windows 2003 and Win98se

By opm
Nov 2, 2003
  1. I've just brought myself a new 80gig HDD and have decided to change my OS from a win98/win2000 dual boot system to a win98/win2003 dual boot system (I would also like to add linux on at a later stage).

    I've set win98 up on a 2gig partition (FAT32) and then using partition magic set up an 8gig NFST partition for Win2003.

    Everything has worked well except the Win2003 boot manager will not boot win 98? The hard drive has been set so that the 8gig win2003 partition is active and the 2gig Win98 partition is hidden.

    Here is a copy of the boot loader file.

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows 2003 Standard" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows 98 SE" /fastdetect

    Can anyone advise as to where I have gone wrong?

  2. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    First of all are you able to boot into 2003?
  3. opm

    opm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I can log into win 2003 fine, it is just the boot loader will not load up win 98
  4. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    is your boot.ini or whatever in the NTFS partition ? if so thats prolly ur problem.. 98 won't read NTFS
  5. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    I don't think it would have anything to do with 98 not reading the boot.ini file. From what I gather you are seeing the boot loader but when you select Win98 it will not load. If that is the case, this means the boot loader is loading fine. There must be a problem with the line in the boot.ini for the Windows 98 installation.

    It has been a while since I created a boot.ini file so I'm not 100% sure what the format for it is.

    You say your Windows 98 partition is hidden? Is it an extended partition? I've never heard of a hidden partition.
  6. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    You shouldn't have set the 8gb partition to active, nor should you have set the 2gb partition to be hidden... both of those can/would prevent 98se from booting properly in some cases.

    Set the 2gb partition to be the active partition and see if that fixes it.

    What I suggest you do is this:

    Install: 2GB - Primary, Active, Win98SE
    Install: ~8GB - Primary, Win2003

    OR, you can try replacing the windows98 entry in boot.ini with:


    Although this will not work if you have hidden the first partition.
  7. ViperSnake

    ViperSnake TS Rookie

    Well you would not be in this mess if you installed 98 first. Here's what MS says about this, They say the 98 setup program will overwrite the NT boot sector if any NT based OS is installed first in a dual boot setup.

    Or better yet, Use the GRUB Bootloader and tell it where the Windows operating systems are when you install Linux. (But I'd recomend that you use only FAT for the partitions)
  8. AlexRakia

    AlexRakia TS Rookie

    I know your problem

    Windows 98 and 95 are limited by Microzoft to be installed on the first primary active partition if the hard drive from which the boot process is performed.

    The Solution to your problem is simple, just install win98 on the first primary partition and then put any boot manager like System Commander, or PQ Boot Manager then you can install whatever OS you want on the other partitions and add to the boot list.

    Microsoft's win32 OSes sucks, sorry. but this is the solution to your problem.

    Enjoy, the stability of 98 if you still can - I used to be a fan of it.

    I'd recommend using LILO boot too, but this is the hiden afair with linux...
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...